While we think all of the animals who live here at the New York Shelter are adorable, Angelo the lamb took “cute” to a whole new level! Full of bouncy excitement, Angelo charmed everyone he crossed paths with and became quite the celebrity both at the shelter and online. A video we made about him has been one of our most popular, viewed nearly 60,000 times, and was even featured on Cute Overload back in March. However, his life was not always filled with so much love and so many adoring fans.
It is likely that little Angelo and his sibling were born on the back of a truck transporting sheep to a live market and slaughterhouse in Yonkers, New York. When the truck began unloading, the newborn was nearly trampled to death before a local Yonkers woman, Cindy Rexhaj, pulled him out of the panicked herd and took him home. Unfortunately, Rexhaj was unable to save his sibling, who was already dead when she arrived. Rexhaj took the best care of Angelo that she could, but ultimately, called Farm Sanctuary for help. Soon, Angelo found a temporary new home at our Watkins Glen shelter, where we gave him medical attention and helped him blossom into a joyful ball of energy.
As our shelter became more and more full, we began looking for a new home for Angelo through our Farm Animal Adoption Network (FAAN). FAAN is our national farm animal rescue and refuge project which allows us to find safe, permanent, loving homes for animals in need. Angelo, who we knew would be a great candidate for adoption, has since become one of the more than 3,000 animals who have benefited from this project since 1986. On November 4, 2009, Angelo, now renamed William after William Shakespeare, was adopted along with his very close friend Michael, now renamed Daniel as in Daniel Defoe, and two turkey hens by Bob and Leslie Nason of Williamston, Michigan. The Nasons have been adopting farm animals though FAAN and providing them with a fantastic home since 1996.
We recently sent Bob and Leslie a series of questions to answer so they could update us on how William has been adjusting to his new life. Since he was such a fan favorite, I thought you would like to see what they had to say!
Q: What is a typical day for William like?
A: William now has had his first shearing and is a bouncy, friendly member of our pack of five sheep. He starts the day by greeting me at the door to the sheep pen with lots of bahs. He is anxious for a fleck of hay which is divided into three mangers. He wants some rubs on his chest and back. The gate to the sheep pasture is opened and usually all the sheep head out to the new luscious grass. At lunchtime, they all come in for carrot snacks from Leslie and then back to the pasture. At dusk all come back to their enclosed pen for more hay and the night. More rubs are requested and granted.
Q: What are William’s favorite activities?
A: Of course, eating, getting rubs, greeting any new stranger or old friend with enthusiasm, and running with the pack, especially his soul mate, Daniel.
Q: Has William made any notable new friends?
A: He loves everyone and his four other sheep companions. He runs, butts, and generally seems full of himself.
A grown up and very wooly William eating hay with friends.
Q: What is it like having a farm animal as a companion?
A: To know that William could have ended up like the other new lamb on the transport, trampled, yet somehow through the caring of many has made it to robustness in life is a daily reminder of both good and evil in humankind.
William gets a visit from Gene Baur in late April.
If you too have fallen in love with William and want to receive regular updates about his new life, you can become a fan of his on Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about William’s amazing rescue, you can read his story here.